Tuesday, May 20, 2008

$2 Skate Fix

It worked. I found a solution to my broken skate problem. I got the idea after analyzing the bolt that fell out of our gliding rocking chair. I'm not that technical so it's hard to describe. It is just some kind of bolt with a cylinder and I slid two large washers on it to hold it in place. I found out this morning that I need some lock tight as one of the bolts loosened back out while I was skating.

Fast Training This Morning
I started interval training this morning. In intervals you skate faster at set times throughout the sessions - for a minute at time. Then rest for a minute, and so on. I actually skated 8 miles in 33 minutes. My pace was 14.06 miles per hour. Up until this session I've been averaging 11 miles per hour. At marathon time in August I want to be an average of 14 or more. Intervals will help me get there.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Saturday, May 17, 2008

16 miles and my skate is totally broken now

Good News
I skated 16.33 miles in 1 hour and 22 minutes. It was a tiring skate with a little too much wind. But I am actually really happy with my time. Here is the route:

Bad News
The ankle cuff collar I reported last week now has complety released from the skate - I could feel my ankle go really lose at about 12 miles, I guess that's when it must have happened. I am going to try and fix it myself. I need to find someone with a heavy duty rivet machine.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Debt Snowball Status Update

The $840 per month we've been paying toward 9 debts is now being directed to just 3 debts - it will be 2 debts on June 15th when we kick our dentist (bill) out of our house. Since Feb 2 we've paid off $6,500 of debt and saved up $1,000 for an emergency fund. The small balances are essentially gone and now we need to dig into the next balance, which is much larger at $8,800. This will take us until April 2009 to pay off.

The money to pay down the debt came from:
1. Monthly Budget
2. Tax refunds and rebates
3. Selling stuff

I have started working part time. It's been three weeks now. I got my first check today and it went straight to debt.

We're going to increase our monthly giving budget. This money will come from reducing the debt snowball payment. On paper the snowball end date will extend a bit but I am not going to fret.

My oldest son got glasses. We paid cash. We had the money in the bank one week before we needed it.

The budget shows we're over spending in some areas but I'll get it under control.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Broken Skate

I discovered last night while changing the laces on my inline skates that one of the cuff rivets on the right boot is broken. The cuff has released from the boot all together. I am very disappointed because I purchased the skates less than a year ago.

I am researching things but what I know so far is there was only a six month warranty. I have contacted Rollerblade directly for more details and I am waiting for a response. Also, I made contact with a custom shop in Minneapolis to see if they could possible repair the rivet.

I actually think the bolt has been broken for some time now. I've always felt my right ankle seemed a little weak. I'll see how it goes tomorrow on my normally schedule training skate. I am going to have to find a way to skate this whole season on these skates.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

14 miles

I set out to skate 12 miles this morning but I felt so great after 10 I decided to extend this session to 14 miles. I finished in 1 hour 13 minutes. Today was by far the best skate I've had since last season. I felt great the whole distance. I left the house this morning at 6:15 and told my wife "I do not want to do this." The hardest part about getting going is loosening up for the first couple miles, and then pushing through the pain in my hips, past seven miles. This morning I was lose the whole way. I finished the last half block toward my house in a full out sprint - that was excellent! My thighs will be sore the next few days, but it's productive pain. Tis this season for perpetual leg soreness anyways.

I also crossed over 100 miles for the season so far.

Friday, May 09, 2008

FPU Update: Debt Snowball Stimulated

The Federal Government made an electronic deposit to my bank account this morning - the economic stimulus rebate. Today I am going to stimulate my debt snowball. Two thousand four hundred dollars of consumer debt will be stimulated to oblivion.

Here's how other people are spending their stimulus money.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Suffering Poem

I wrote a quick poem this morning in the midst of feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and sinfully fearful. I wrote it in an instant message to my wife about us:

our pain is real
our lives are tough
our wounds stay fresh
our weaknesses glare
our hearts ache
is at work
we suffer because He is at work in us
it is contrary to what the world tells us is life
Christ in us
real life

I think it is a poem at least.

The idea is that all the crap in my life begs to be called mine. It wants me to own it. If I take ownership, then I become responsible for all of it too. If I do that, then I take hold of the pride of ownership as well. If I do that, then pride rules all my life and I become convinced that I am living life because I am dealing with all my problems. Until the next set of pressures, the next hurt, the next sinful action. I am really tired. The remedy is Christ in me. I am learning through experience what this mystery (Collosians 1:27) really means - how profound it is. It means that I am much more hopeless than I ever imagined and that Jesus is so much more of a glorious Saviour than I ever dared to trust in.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Upcoming Series - Shaving My Legs

After falling this last Sunday during my long skate of the week, I've decided to take the blade to my leg hair sooner than later. This just means I'll have to keep it up all summer - once, maybe twice a week. We'll see.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an article about this very topic: Ultrafit: Male athletes wax effusive about shaving - their legs. I am by no means "ultrafit" but I do know what it feels like to suffer from major road rash. Here's my favorite quote:
Today Bullard's preferred brand of shaver is one his daughter gave him for Father's Day. The Gillette Venus has five blades and a "ribbon of moisture." It comes in pink and teal, and the company tags a slogan on the packaging: "Reveal the goddess in you."
I am into posting by series on this blog and now that FPU is over...I wonder how a very specialized instructional series would go over? I'll call it How To Shave Your Male Legs.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Inline Skating Goals 2008

Today I am kicking off the official official training of my "personal" inline marathon skating season. I started skating three times a week on April 5th and I already have 55 miles logged. But up to today I have not set official goals.

Goals for 2008

1. Finish St. Paul Inline Marathon on August 3rd in under 1 hour 40 minutes.

2. Finish Hayward Marathon on August 9th in under 1 hour 45 minutes.

3. Finish St. Micheal 1/2 Marathon on August 16th in under 50 minutes.

I wanted to get at least one marathon in sometime in June (either Baxter or Badger State) but I do not have the money nor the time.

Also, I still have yet to skate the largest inline marathon in the country, the NorthShore Inline Marathon. This one is in mid-September and it always falls on the same weekend as the very excellent marriage retreat sponsored by Faith Community Church. My wife and I have attended the retreat for the past 10 years. She has hinted about not going this year because of money and the difficulty of finding childcare for three days. Ya'know how tempting this is? But, I love my wife more, hands down, and I'd be foolish to believe she really doesn't want to go to the retreat. I'd be wise to work hard at finding a way to the retreat instead of the marathon....right?